New figures show that flood defence funding in the South West of England was cut by 30 per cent in advance of the winter floods.
David Cameron suffered a fresh deluge of embarrassment today as new figures emerged showing flood defence funding in the South West of England had been cut by 30 per cent in advance of the devastating winter floods.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that funding for flood defences in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol and parts of Wiltshire – those areas worst-hit in the winter floods – was cut from £45 million in 2010/11 to £32 million in 2013/14.
“David Cameron has been caught out by the truth,” said Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s shadow environment secretary in reaction to the figures. “This is a major embarrassment for David Cameron.”
The prime minister told journalists earlier in the year that “money is no object”, pledging an extra £270m nationwide to provide relief. Labour says the government’s short-sightedness reveals their failure to take the threat of climate change seriously.
“The Tory-led government failed to prepare and protect against climate change and it failed to learn the lessons of earlier floods.
“Ministers cut funding for flood protection when they came to power in 2010. That short-termism has cost the country dearly as they will have to spend more in the long term to protect our flood defences for decades to come.”Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.